The tech industry does not have a reputation for being an inclusive space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) or LBGTQ+ workers in IT and STEM jobs. While companies have made efforts to increase diversity in tech in the past few years, the statistics still paint a grim portrait of the diversity gap that persists in the tech industry.
White people comprise around 68% of the tech industry, far outpacing representation of Asian Americans (14%), Hispanics (8%) and African Americans (7%), according to data from the Diversity in High Tech report published by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. White tech workers also benefit from disproportionate representation in executive roles (83%), while African Americans hold only 2% of tech executive roles and Asian Americans hold around 11%.
And for LGBTQ+ workers in tech, the lack of representation can leave many workers feeling unsafe or uncomfortable at work. In a report from Blind, only 76% of LGBTQ+ workers reported feeling safe in their workplace, with 64% of trans and gender nonconforming (GNC) individuals saying the same. Moreover, only 35% of LGBTQ+ and 41% of trans or GNC workers say they feel “represented in upper management at their company.”
Despite diversity being a much-discussed topic in the tech industry, representation for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ tech workers is still not where it needs to be. While the current list of professional organizations focused on diversity is short, hopefully emerging conversations about diversity and equality in tech will help the list of professional resources grow in the future.
Here are 20 professional organizations dedicated to growing representation in the tech industry through scholarships, training, networking resources and more.
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations, and other indigenous peoples of North America in STEM studies and careers. The organization offers support to students in STEM programs with scholarships and events and offers professional development support in addition to career and networking opportunities.
Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA)
The Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) is an international organization founded in 1975 as a network for underrepresented minorities working in the IT and computer science fields. The BDPA organizes technology conferences, local chapter events, continuing education and professional development events, academic scholarships, and mentoring and career opportunities for Black IT professionals. The BPDA also organizes community outreach programs for students including the Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES), National High School Computer Competitions (HSCC) and Youth Technology Camp (YTC) to increase representation in tech and create pipelines for future talent.